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Blog: Summer of inspiration

My mind is always busy with ideas with everything around me encouraging and motivating my creations.

Of late I have visited exhibitions locally and in London to see how far I can push my boundaries to develop my skills and painting techniques. Visits to Tate Britain ‘All Too Human’ to view the artworks of renowned artists such as Lucian Freud, observing his artwork, the raw layers of paint that show the skins flesh with pores and veins displayed in his figurative work opened my eyes to new possibilities.

The emotions his artworks stirred in me through the brilliance of his skills, caused discussion, appreciation and fascination. The hues and style of contemporary figurative and portrait artist Jenny Saville with the use of oils captured me by her brush strokes, the shape and form of the female bodies Jenny creates and gave me the confidence to explore anatomy more helping me decide what colour palette I could chose and create for my new works.

I also discovered a local artist Andrew Tift ‘Immortalise’ at Walsall Art Gallery a few weeks ago, enabling me to see the full range of possibilities to what working with acrylic paint can achieve, through his realist and contemporary portraits. I warmed towards the charcoal and mixed media head shots so life like and the little details in each work was a treat!

Observing professional artists work is a great way to gain visual knowledge on the various techniques used to create paintings, charcoal and mixed media mediums. The work I viewed has motivated me in recent weeks to experiment and play more with acrylic paint.

This summer I also found inspiration closer to home, with the Midlands Art Centre hosting an exhibition by Photographer Andrew Jackson titled Visiting ‘From a small island’. His imagery instantly gave me flashbacks to my visits to Jamaica with my Grandmother as a child. The exhibition represented an intimate journey of his parents story migrating from the Caribbean to stepping off at Tilbury Docks docks as the now Windrush Generation. He brilliantly explores migration the effects and integration of his parents who came to Britain.

The style of his portraits was captivating, as a viewer the image called to me so that I could some how grasp what the model is expressing or feeling at the present time. The titles of each work is simple and explains each captured shot beautifully. The photographs of his parents especially his mother Amy are very personal and non invasive, they hit a nerve as I have no relationship with my own mother and felt honoured to share these intimate and lovely moments with his. The text and objects in the case, brought a tear to my eye as my grandmother possessed the same items on her dressing table in her bedroom. It gave me a fresh perspective on how to look at a place or person when I am using my camera, as I paint with a lot of emotion I select the imagery I captured through how I am feeling at that time, making the image mean so much more whether its architecture, street scene or a person.

Learning by experiencing other creatives art and photography is essential and beneficial to my progression and artistic wellbeing. I will enjoy developing each new artwork I produce for my new collection ‘From My Pain Came Beauty’

By Dee.M

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